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Byron De La Beckwith Biography

Full nameByron de la Beckwith
Birth placeColusa, California, USA
Birth date1920-11-9
Age99 years, 4 month, 16 days
Star signScorpio

Byron de la Beckwith sources


Byron de la Beckwith Biography:

Produced in California in 1920, Byron De La Beckwith grew up in Mississippi. Though he was detained for the offense, two all-white juries cannot reach a verdict in 1964. Beckwith was finally convicted of the homicide in 1994. He stayed in prison until his passing in 2001 at age 80. Following the departure of his alcoholic father in 1926, Beckwith’s mom moved back to her hometown of Greenwood, Mississippi. When his mom passed away several years after, Beckwith continued in the care of relatives in Greenwood.

After unsuccessful stints in school, Beckwith joined the Marines during the Second World War, receiving a Purple Heart because of his service. In Greenwood, Beckwith became an associate of the Ku Klux Klan as well as the segregationist Citizens’ Council, a group that was formed following the opinion in 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education. Despite being subjected to threats and assaults, Evers and his family stayed in Jackson, Mississippi.

Early each day on June 12, 1963, Evers was getting from his car at his house when he was shot in the rear. He died shortly afterward. Mississippi was a hotbed of battle between segregationists and civil rights activists, but the killing attracted special focus. Beckwith whose rifle was discovered at the scene, and whose fingerprint was on its scope—was promptly detained.

The feeling in Mississippi was such that Beckwith received letters of support and contributions for his defense fund while in prison. When Beckwith’s case went to trial in 1964, the jury was not able to reach a verdict. A retrial after that year resulted in another deadlocked jury. Both juries were made up completely of white men.

Evers’s widow, Myrlie Evers Williams, failed to quit on bringing her husband’s killer to justice. When a 1989 paper investigation disclosed evidence that the Mississippi state agency had perpetrated jury tampering in 1964, she pushed to get a fresh trial. (As Beckwith had formerly experienced mistrials, not an acquittal, he wasn’t subject to double jeopardy.)

In 1990, Beckwith was indicted once more for killing Evers. Though Beckwith had consistently denied shooting Evers in public statements, he’d not been as circumspect in private. Witnesses testified that Beckwith had bragged about killing Evers, whom he’d referred to as a “chicken-stealing dog.” On February 5, 1994, Beckwith was convicted of Evers’s homicide. He got a life sentence. His appeals Beckwith’s attorneys claimed he’d been refused his right to a speedy trial were unsuccessful. He was 80 years old.

Byron De La Beckwith Biography

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